tv [untitled] April 20, 2012 8:30pm-9:00pm EDT
thank you. yes please. you have the floor. >> thank you. in the arms embargo as it was manda mandated, there's no allowment of a transfer of arms. it depends on how you define transfer. but as it was happening, it went through the ports and you cannot say it's russians, but all i'm asking is actually an investigation on it in order to exactly get to know the details and the facts. and i think that's what we need. we need an investigation. at the end we will see what is the reality. what is the exact facts. i think it's up for us to have such an investigation to be credible in this region.
>> and the second blue card. >> i just wanted to ask my colleague and would be interested in the response whether the greek government has through its government already started proceedings against the people who have been dealing with the part of the syrian population that she referred to. and i'm sure the government wants to look into this question as well. and the second question does she recognize that since that member arrangement and what extra information does she think is necessary so that we don't end
up with the situation in which e we found ourselves this time. thank you. >> we have heard there's now steps, but at a time, there was a way that the ship was in the port. it was not stopped. that's what i'm criticizing politically. how can you let the ship go with 59 tons of weapons go through assad knowing how he will use it and it's fine there's something going on. we don't know the precise nature. but i think it's up to the union to have that conversation. and if we find out it was everything done, the better. i want to have that discussion. i want to have that investigation. i think we cannot be silent about it. >> now for one minute.
>> thank you mr. president. i appreciate the very careful way in which you have worded your statement today. i understand the dynamics with which you are dealing here. you specifically used the term syrian-democratic led transition. that's a phrase that's been used by many european leaders over the past few weeks and certainly days as well. but the fact of the matter is this. that we are not going to have a syrian-led democratic transition without the essential ingredient of a unified opposition. that remains illusive at this stage. what we're not getting is any information about what the international community or we as a european union are doing to help bring it to the opposition that is required to bring about the fundamental change that we are seeking. secondly, i want to raise with
you an issue i have razed previously in regards to online activists and the way the regime is carrying on targeting through very specific and very well-designed and advanced tect call ways in identifying people and arresting them and ensuring they can't get out the message about the atrocities that are being committed. >> thank you. and now for one minute. >> thank you. doing something about the conflict is necessary to create the political conditions. but the problem is that a lot of weapons are entering the country from neighboring countries. can europe do something in terms of prevention?
in the south of lebanon, there are lots of blue helmets there. many of them are european citizens. mahmoud dam high representative, could some of the european blue helmets for a limited period work on the syrian/lebanese border to do something there. secondly, is pressure being put on the syrian government and the syrian national council because the peace plan? >> thank you for sticking to your speaking time. >> president, there's no question that the european union and our european parliament can just look idly on at the slau
slaughter that is being carried out of the citizens of a neighboring country. particularly when it's been ordered by those countries. but i think it's only right that we bear in mind two issues to put these into the balance with the other events. how many thousands of corpses should be put into the other part of the scale so that it has to be counterbalanced with democracy which will arrive subsequent wi subsequently. people have dayed in iraq. does that balance warpt bringing into iraq a democracy? and the idea now is to export the same model to syria. and i say no to that.
we can't have the plan. unless it's done without the loss of any further life. we have to bear in mind the weight that syria has in the region. and don't forget about the support that china is showing for syria. we may not like it, but it's been shown in the u.s. security council. what should concern us is the end result. we must not inkrecrease the num of dead in syria and the idea of exporting weapons to syria and our desire for the full implementation of the plan that's the only way of achieving peace. thank you. >> for two minutes.
>> from the visit that the madame and myself made to the region to the north lebanon and with syrian refugees, my conclusion is that there are two proxy wars going on. over the corpses of the syrians killed. one opposing the the west and russia and china and here the one on the ground namely between sunnis with support from saudi against shiites with support from iran who was behind the assad regime. i think it's very disturbing the hypocrisy going on. including among our states. doing nothing to make it a reality. and that requires military security for the humanitarian corridor. whether it be deployed in
turkey. or playing a game of political hypocrisy. and the breach of embargoes as it has been referred need to be clarified. what is crucial is to support the plan. because it's the only game in town to prevent a civil war but at the same time make it very clear something which is not but should be clear in the dealings is that we want assad out of power. and it should be brought before the icc. he and the others in his regime for the crimes against the people of syria that they have committed. and i think it's important that we support in any way a plan, namely in what it might tell in terms of the security for them to perform if they are to perform. and i think we also need to give support to the refugees, not only those in turkey, but those in lebanon in difficult
conditions and finally we need to engage with the syrian opposition to make sure that they unite on a democratic platform. >> thank you very much. for one minute. >> while i think it's disgraceful what the people of syria have to suffer, he did what he could. but is the plan good enough? no. because as long as the world community in particular china make it clear that he has to go because we can't have peace with him and his henchmen, we can't have sustainable peace with him. killing off his own people until he's throttled all exist tense. he believes that we can negotiate with assad and his henchmen. we have to be disappointed. could we have some order over
there? who believes that you can negotiate with bashar al assad has to be disappointed. he's right. he's asking for more protection of the refugees on the border and is asking for the building of this aid corridor. we have to do that even if we have to use. but how long is the international community to carry on watching the murder go on? we need a plan b. because the six-point plan won't work. this plan b i can't see it yet. >> just now we start the procedure. we have six speakers. >> thank you, president. the plan was the last attempt to
solve in a peaceful manner the syrian conflict as it has been sent here over 11,000 people were killed. thousands more were wounded, wrongfully arrested, forced to exile themselves. all the sanctions have had no effects and the fragile truths that have been trampled on has shone the assad regime has not been truthful. they have paid lip service to the intention to stop the violence and has only intensified the repression even though they have not reached a solution, we have the statement from march 21st, which supports the plan of the arab league and the united nations. this plan provides for the release of political prisoners must be abided by in the conditions of the presence of
the u.n. observers. thank you very much. >> mr. president, the situation in syria continues to deteriorate. reports this afternoon suggest the syrian government forces have commenced once more to bomb birdie the free syrian army held areas in and around homs, breaking with um punty the seas fire. i call upon the high representative to redouble the efforts in the ongoing negotiations. the eu must push for the u.n. observer mission to start its important work urgently. it's clear that assad has long lost any moral authority to rule as syrian president. according to the u.n., his attacks have left 9,000 civilians killed or wounded. the syrian government must be held fully accountable for all its actions and if found to be in violation of its obligations be subject to swift and first
sanctions from the entire international community. thank you. >> thank you very much. >> thank you, president. syria is another country in the arab world where the conflicts between the various parties are inflamed. and the struggles have called for thousands of victims, mostly civilians. the security council has tried to stop the violence and in part was successful to convince the parties to adopt his six-point plan. under the u.n. which could lead to peace. now members of observation
missions can go to various parts of the country to observe whether the truce is being held to the temporary peace we know. >> thank you, president. media reports make it clear that syria has 2,300 missiles. some are charged with poisonous gases which could reach europe. it becomes very dangerous if there is a political vacuum which might arise because of the opposition forces taking power. the top priority has to be stabilization of the situation. the aim has to be to built peace in this region and to move towards a democratic and
moderate regime that also respects minority reports of christians and curds above all. we must ensure that turkey will work in the same direction as well. turkey is -- we don't want the migrants who have gone into turkey illegally. we'll see whether turkey is capable of cooperating loyally or whether it's just exploiting its geopolitical interest in this region with turkey as a candidate country, we are bringing in all the conflicts in neighboring countries into the eu as well. >> thank you, mr. president. it's obvious that the people want more justice and more freedom and there's been opposition to the government in syria because they have been calling for change. but what we have seen today isn't a revolution, but nor is
it the brutal suppression of an uprising. it is a war that's been financed from outside. and we see mer son ris being imported from turkey and jordan found with funds and weapons from france and the united states. it's no longer an internal syrian con flingt but an external attempt to interfere in their internal affairs. we need a peaceful conclusion to the conflict. and it will only work if the u.n., the u.s., and the eu stop exporting weapons to syria and don't intervene in any way in the conflict either militarily or financially. that's the only way we can bring peace. >> thank you very much. and the last speaker.
>> thank you, president. the government and the opposition ae accusing each other for the breach of the cease fire and assume there have been human rights violations on both sides. but the implementation of the six-point plan will be difficult. whether the eu controllers can do their job and whether the government and opposition can be on table whether they are exercising various tactics as the observation mission of the arab league found out. it's important whether or not the mission exceeds to improve to increase pressure. the idea of a no-fly zone, the
eu must plan for the post assad era and they must learn from the arabs in the case of egypt and libya. >> thank you very much. and for the closing remarks. >> thank you, mr. president. it's various from all of the contributions the passion and the frustration that members of this house feel and it is mirrored in every conversation i have with anyone who takes interest in the plight of the horror is what is happening to the syrian people. i want to make three particular points in closing this debate. the first is that it is of course, emotionally very attractive to think about safe havens, corridors, and so on. but we have to recognize that the violence in syria is across
180,000 square kilometers. it is not in isolated places. it's everywhere. we also have to recognize the humanitarian organizations are very nervous about anything which would engage with military coming in support of their work. and we have to respect and listen to the experience that they have. in addition to that, remember, that to put boots on the ground is a huge thing. and to do so without the u.n. security council is extraordinarily challenging to put at its least -- to find words of perhaps the least of all the words i could use. so it is very, very important that we recognize when we talk about these ideas, what it is we're actually describing, it doesn't mean i'm asking members to reject them. i'm simply saying we need to understand what it is we're talking about.
secondly, the united nations does not have an arm as embargo because they could not get agreement at the security council. we have an arms embargo. the united states have an arms embargo. and we're asking for details on working with the government of cypress and of germany, who are looking into this right now. and of course i will respond with any information that i might have. and thirdly, we are doing everything possible and working as closely as possibly with everybody else to try and get the opposition groups to unite. in my last conversation with kofi annan, this was very much on his mind, how to bring them together through either an umbrella or through collaboration around the table in order that they can put aside the differences and come to a common view. and i know that in istanbul this was one of the big issues. so we're continuing to engage with them and to engage with our colleagues across the world to try and support that unity of opposition.
but it is my view that at the moment the kofi annan six-point plan is where we have to concentrate our energy. it is where we finally have a security council resolution we can all get behind and hold everybody to account. it's clear there are significant problems already in syria with the plan and with the ceasefire. it's also clear that the observers are ready to start their work, and we have to back them. and we have to work as hard as we can to get all of the six points implemented and to do what kofi annan has asked us for, which is to offer a him our full support. and he has mine. >> thank you very much. ladies and gentlemen, the debate is closed and the voting will be on friday at a 12:00. coming up, a senate environment committee hearing on gsa mismanagement.
then gun violence victims call on congress to pass new gun laws at an event hosted by the brady center. after that, a house energy and commerce hearing on the state of u.s. manufacturing. space shuttle is now on display at the smithsonian institution after making its final flight this week over washington, d.c. you can see the landing and the official transfer ceremony saturday at 8:00 p.m. eastern time on c-span. this weekend on book tv on c-span 2, live coverage from "the los angeles times" festival of books. coverage starts at 2:00 p.m. eastern saturday and sunday. saturday at 3:30 p.m., biographers john farrell, jim newton and richard reeves on clarence darrow, dwight d. eisenhower and jfk. and call in for your questions for steven ross, how movie stars
shaped american politics. sunday at 2:00 eastern, watch for eric alterman and his take on liberals in the cause. and at 5:00, a panel on surveillance and secrets with lori andrews, and michael shurmur. the lineup is online at booktv.org. senior officials from the general services administration testified wednesday before the senate environment committee on the investigation into an $820,000 las vegas conference hosted by the gsa. this hearing featuring gsa inspector general brian miller and new acting administrator dan tangherlini was one of four congressional hearings held on gsa mismanagement this week. this runs 1:45. >> the meeting will come to order. the meet willing come to order. thank you to the press.
first before i start my statement, i want to enter into the record a letter i received from majority leader harry reid that makes clear well run and cost-effective conferences are effective and provide an important economic boost to our economy. so i ask unanimous consent to enter senator reid's letter into the record. do you have a similar letter from senator heller? >> yes, i do. i ask that senator heller's record be put in the record. >> absolutely. >> i'm going to ask that we each have seven minutes for our opening statement. the latest misconduct at the gsa makes me cringe, cringe for the taxpayers that expect every agency in their government to fulfill their mission with integrity. and it makes me cringe for the good people at gsa who work so hard every day and have been humiliated by a few bad actors. to those who is betrayed the public trust, let me be clear. the party's over. it's over because of gsa inspector general brian miller. who was a bipartisan appointee
of president george w. bush and president barack obama. and the party's over because of gsa deputy administrator susan brita, an obama appointee who blew the whistle and took this matter to the inspector general. and the party is over because the new acting administrative gsa, mr. daniel tangherlini is a no-nonsense leader from the u.s. department of the treasury who aims to clean up this mess. this is not the first episode of misconduct at the gsa. the carter administration uncovered one in 1978 and 1979 when a nationwide investigation noose long-standing corruption resulted in prosecutions for bribery, for fraud, and protections for whistleblowers in the agency. then there was more misconduct during the bush administration. the first occurred when the chief of staff to the gsa administrator traveled with jack abramoff to scotland even though mr. abramoff had business before the gsa.
in 2011, this chief of staff went to prison. in 2006, the bush appointed gsa administrator steered a contract to a friend and. and in 2007, she organized a political call with 30 appointees to, quote, help her friends win their elections. that violated the hatch act. the administrator repeatedly clashed with the inspector general, this inspector general in one report comparing his enforcement efforts to quote, terrorism, unquote. she resigned in 2008. and now here we go again in 2012. this time, involving what clearly looks like waste, fraud, abuse and possible criminal violations. the most recent example of misconduct involves a few individuals who sought personal gain and exhibited scorn toward the public and exhibited scorn toward our president. there must be justice and restitution for this, and those who are responsible for in
this outrageous conduct and who violated the public trust must be held accountable. the gsa administrator resigned and she should have. two of her aides were fired and they should have been. others are on administrative leave awaiting further action. the acting administrator and the ig at gsa who we are very pleased to have before us today are working closely together to ensure that anyone with more information comes forward. they have set up a hot line for that and they have sent out the word. checks and balances on the regional offices have got to be put in place and many have already. many conferences my understanding have been stopped or reduced in scope, and gsa estimates that nearly a million dollars have been saved by the actions so far. regional financial officers must now report to the chief financial officer. awards programs have been shut down and reimbursements are being demanded from specific employees. the outrageous behavior of a few
irresponsible, unethical, and a perhaps law-breaking individuals are overshadowing gsa's a achievements following president barack obama's cost-saving directives focused on energy efficiency, reduced computing costs and disposal of unneeded federal property. gsa offers critical services to all federal agencies, but it is time to stop this series of failings that have occurred over four decades and over three administrations. it is time to send the clearest of signals that this type of conduct and this kind of betrayal of the public trust will not be tolerated. anyone in any agency who puts their own interests bob the country's interests will suffer the consequences. i really want to recognize the efforts to shine a light on the misconduct that took place at gsa. mr. miller, mr. tag lean any, thank you for taking deputy administrator susan brita's